The Universal Notebook: The post office without a mailbox

539
advertisementSmiley face

The Brunswick post office has not had a mailbox in front of it since well before Christmas, ever since a driver smashed into it.

Whenever I ask when the mailbox will be replaced, I’m told that the delay is a matter of municipal street improvements and the fact that the U.S. Postal Service uses an out-of-state contractor to install mailboxes.

Edgar Allen BeemI prefer to think that the post office without a mailbox is an artifact of the Republican plan to destroy the USPS. That plan is overseen day-to-day by a Trump appointee, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, following a long-term blueprint authored by Maine Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins.

DeJoy is one of those Trumpian dementors put in charge of dismantling the government. For some inane reason, President Joe Biden can’t can him. All he can do is appoint USPS governors who can. I assume DeJoy’s days are numbered.

DeJoy has not only done his best to wreck the Postal Service, but he also has a conflict of interest that should have kept him out of the postmaster’s seat. Before taking over the USPS, DeJoy was the chief executive of XPO Logistics, a company that helps the post office deliver the mail when it gets overwhelmed, such as over holidays and during Republican administrations.

Slow down delivery, create delays and bottlenecks, generate work for XPO, punish Trump’s enemies. Sweet!

Collins’ role in the monkeywrenching of the Postal Service was sponsoring and introducing the 2005 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which required the USPS to pre-fund employee health and retirement benefits for the next 50 years, a provision no other federal agency has to follow.

Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-New Jersey, voted for the measure before realizing, in his words, that it is “one of the worst pieces of legislation Congress has passed in a generation.”

Because of Collins’ pre-paid benefits mandate the Postal Service is in massive debt, a financial crisis made worse by the fact that Collins’ bill also prohibits the USPS from adding new services to generate income.

Collins now pretends to be trying to help solve a problem she created. Whether she is not too bright or way too naïve is open to question. My view is that Little Miss Perfect Attendance is both. 

Collins is infamous for being bamboozled. She traded her vote on Republican tax reform for a promise to stabilize Obamacare premiums, a promise Republican leaders failed to keep. Then she voted to put Brett Kavanaugh on the U.S. Supreme Court, convinced by his promise to respect precedent when it came to reproductive rights. We all know how that turned out. There is a good chance Collins will be remembered as the woman who destroyed Roe v. Wade.

Then there was the incredibly naïve statement Collins made that Trump had “learned a pretty big lesson” after she voted to acquit him during his first impeachment. She voted to impeach him the second time around, but that was meaningless. The man who had learned a pretty big lesson proceeded to attempt to overthrow a free and fair election and with it the United States government.

So Collins’ role in destroying the Postal Service is just one in a series of dumb moves. What needs to happen now is for the mailbox to be replaced in front of the Brunswick post office, DeJoy to be removed, the Postal Accountability Act to be repealed, and Collins to be replaced by someone who understands that showing up for every vote is not as important as how you vote.

Edgar Allen Beem has been writing The Universal Notebook weekly since 2003, first for The Forecaster and now for the Phoenix. He also writes the Art Seen feature.